Difference between starch and cellulose

Main difference

Polymers are huge molecules that are made from the combination of smaller molecules that are joined at the ends. These smaller molecules are known as monomers and they help form additional polymers. They play an important role in everyday life and are also present in different living things. They have properties in plastics and even human DNA that are important to the existence of life. Polymers are formed from different substances and one of the most common in this case is glucose. There are two different types of polymers that form a glucose starting point and are known as starch and cellulose. Both are made from the same monomer and the same units that are required, but there are still few differences between them that make them different in their own way. The main variation between these two types of polymers is that in starch all glucose units follow the same direction as the others and do not deviate from their path. For cellulose, all glucose units are at a 180 degree angle and rotate at the same speed on the axis. Both are necessary to compensate for the energy needs of the world and they also belong to the same group, but there are also differences in the way they are linked. In starch, glucose units are attached with the help of the glucoside bond, while they are attached with the 1.4 alpha bond for cellulose.Another difference is in appearance where the grain is the way the starch exists whereas is the way cellulose exists. There are also variations in the physical and chemical properties of both. They both use different monomers. The main starch is a-glucose, while the main cellulose is b-glucose. The bond like amylose and amylopectin is only available in starch while it is absent in glycogen. There are many branched chains that are smaller in size, while some of them are rolled together to obtain starch, while the nature of the chains in cellulose are unbranched chains that are longer and form H bonds. The main function of the Starch in plants is the storage of energy in the form of carbohydrates, while the main function of cellulose in plants is structural changes. Starch exists in the form of grains, while cellulose is available in the form of fibers. There are also many other differences between them which will be listed at the end. Below is a brief description of these two types of glucose polymers. The main starch is a-glucose, while the main cellulose is b-glucose. The bond like amylose and amylopectin is only available in starch while it is absent in glycogen.There are many branched chains that are smaller in size, while some of them are rolled together to obtain starch, while the nature of Chains in cellulose are unbranched chains that are longer and form H bonds. The main function of starch in plants is the storage of energy in the form of carbohydrates, while the main function of cellulose in plants is the changes structural. Starch exists in the form of grains, while cellulose is available in the form of fibers. There are also many other differences between them which will be listed at the end. Below is a brief description of these two types of glucose polymers, the main one for starch is α-glucose, while the main one for cellulose is b-glucose. The bond like amylose and amylopectin is only available in starch while it is absent in glycogen. There are many branched chains that are smaller in size, while some of them are rolled together to obtain starch, while the nature of the chains in cellulose are unbranched chains that are longer and form H bonds. The main function of the Starch in plants is the storage of energy in the form of carbohydrates, while the main function of cellulose in plants is structural changes. Starch exists in the form of grains, while cellulose is available in the form of fibers. There are also many other differences between them that will be listed at the end. Below is a brief description of these two types of glucose polymers.

Comparative chart
Starch Cellulose
Background This word originated in the German language and means strength, or to harden something. This was discovered in 1838 from plant matter and was used to produce thermoplastics for the first time.
Glucose range It takes about 200-1000 glucose molecules to form a starch molecule. It takes 500 glucose molecules to make one starch molecule.
Bonding Hydrogen bonds None
Paper To store energy in the form of carbohydrates. To form a specific structure of plants.

Definition of starch

This word originated in the German language and means strength, or to harden something. Therefore, it is linked to the main glucose molecule. Starch is one of the types of glucose polymers that is formed by the combination of glucose molecules that follow the same path and do not change their path, are available in the form of grains and are the most abundant type of carbohydrate that is available in plants and human body. Their main function is to store energy in the form of carbohydrates, which is why they are favorable for both humans and plants. They are most commonly found in foods like potatoes, wheat, and rice. The normal color of starch is white and there are two different types of molecules that branch together, these branches are smaller in size.

Definition of cellulose

This was discovered in 1838 from plant matter and was used to produce thermoplastics for the first time and therefore has many applications. It was first synthesized chemically late 20 thcentury and is an important component in plants and cell walls. It has more applications in plants and objects than in humans. It is used to produce paper and can be made into different products such as rayon. For use in industry, it is obtained from cotton and wood. It takes about 500 glucose molecules to form a cellulose molecule, these are not properly arranged and generally deviate at an angle of 180 degrees from their axis. Due to this pattern, a hydrogen bond occurs between them, which attracts hydrogen and oxygen molecules. Therefore, it is stronger than the starch molecule due to binding, although it is smaller in size.

Differences in a nutshell
  1. They both have different types of monomers. Starch uses a-glucose monomer while cellulose uses b-glucose monomer.
  2. It takes about 200-1000 glucose molecules to make a starch molecule, while it takes 500 glucose molecules to make a starch molecule.
  3. The nature of the chain in starch is that amylose is unbranched, while amylopectin is chained and longer in size. For cellulose, the chains are long and unbranched.
  4. There are hydrogen bonds between cellulose molecules, whereas starch is not.
  5. Cellulose molecules are stiffer than starch molecules.
  6. The main role of starch is to store energy in the form of carbohydrates, while the main role of cellulose is to form a specific structure of plants.
  7. Starch is mainly found in the human body and in food, while cellulose is mainly found in plants.
  8. Starch is mainly in the granular form, while cellulose is mainly in the fibrous state.

Final Thought

The way food is stored in the body of humans and plants is of great interest to people who are involved in the subject and have the goal of knowing more. There are many differences between the processes and the way they are stored in the form of starch and cellulose and this article has explained all of those differences clearly.

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